Hatsune Miku Recap 2011 (+recap of my Ignite talk)


This video created by Google Japan to promote Chrome is an excellent representation of the value of Hatsune Miku- I love their phrase "Everyone, Creator". (Disclaimer: I work for Google)

I have been posting and speaking a lot about Hatsune Miku in various places including this blog(2008), this blog (2010) and did Ignite at LeWeb'10.

Hatsune Miku is a Desk Top Music software and a character- it started with the "voice" and "picture" created by a company called Crypton Future Media, which generated a huge movement of DIY music, video and art phenomenon. It is one of the series of softwares called "Vocaloid".

I think the highlight of Hatsune Miku for 2011 was that it has gone international :)

Recently Hatsune Miku had been attracting attention from various countries.

LA Weekly "Hatsune Miku: Her Best Fan-Generated Videos"

Miku has also have made a very successful concert in Los Angeles- you can see the highlight video here:

Also, Vocaloid series is constantly evolving- the newest version "Vocaloid 3" which has a much human-like sound- can be listened from the link below.

鳥の詩( Ver.IA(β) )

Following is a recap of my Ignite speech which was one year ago (didn't have time to post this for a year...)

I started my speech by introducing Miku's concert that happened in Japan. At that time, people around the world were interested that Japanese people actually gathers to watch a virtual character to sing- this year, we have seen this happen in Los Angeles and I heard that as many as 5,000 people came to the event ;)

Video of the concert

Press articles of media around the world surprised about a concert of a virtual idol.

The most interesting thing about Hatsune Miku is how it spurred enormous amount of creativity by the users- music, pictures, animations, software, etc.

Users can upload music to various sites such as Piapro:

And some of those user generated songs won #1 of the Japanese weekly CD Sales ranking, and Vocaloid series won #2,4,6,7, 8, 10,11, 15,18 of Karaoke ranking last year.

I was looking at the data this year, and for example the Oricon Blu-ray ranking as of 2011/11/28 (data from 2011/11/14-2011/11/20) #5 was Hatsune Miku. (#1,2,4 are all Harry Potter, #3 is Pirates of the Caribbean)

Much less in Karaoke ranking compared to last year, but still #3, #19 and #21 were Hatsune Miku songs.

I played one of the most popular songs at LeWeb last year- "Miku Miku Ni Shite Ageru"

This song was remixed by many people, and the dots on this chart shows all the remixes- it actually looks like universe!

Many people started drawing illustrations -many of which you can see on Piapro

And of course various 2D animations and 3D animations.

People started creating software too- MikuMikuDance is the most popular one- user generated 3D animation creation software.

Originally it only had one character (Miku) but the different versions allowed users to add different characters, objects and backgrounds, and different models as you can see in the following videos:

MMD started to carry physical engine, and the users can control objects’ weight, friction, spinning speed, speed decay, repulsion, etc. MMD development by the original creator- Yu Higuchi has ended as of October 2011, and MMD's further development is now in the hands of the MMD community.

Then there's the 3D animation and hardware hacking part. This video of "Innocence" started the movement.

You can see this imaginary musical instrument- which stimulated the geeks around Japan to actually create it.

Awesome wall paper made by tripshots

Created that instrument with 3$ display:

Nintendo DS version:

Wii remote version:

Augmented Reality version:

As you can imagine, there are Android app version such as this one and this one :)

At Digital Contents Expo, a bunch of creators gathered to show off their instruments and did a mini live.


I believe the key to the success of Hatsune Miku was its openness- Crypton Future Media could've claimed their rights and prohibited the use of the characters- as many of the contents industry companies does- instead they decided to open up the use of the character Miku, and invited various creators to share, reuse and remix their creativity- which led to a viral effect not just by consumers, but creators, and also made consumers to become creators.

What I really like about the Hatsune Miku community is that they have love and respect with each other, they like other people's work, praise, and build on top of them for the next great thing - and the following was my final slide ;)

Photo CC by Shanissinha_

For those of you who wants to see newer vid, looks like this one is in the ranking now :)

Disclaimer- This blog is a personal blog of Fumi Yamazaki. What I write here reflects my personal opinion, and has nothing to do with my employer.